About 15,000 visit car show over weekend

October 2, 2018

JEFFERSON -- The word frustration came up more than once this morning in a conversation with the Madison Classics founder Gary Esse as he looked back on this weekend’s Fall 2018 Jefferson Swap Meet and Car Show held at the Jefferson County Fair Park.

“Mother Nature played a game on us Sunday, that is for sure,” Esse said this morning, noting Friday and Saturday were good days, weatherwise, at the car show. The show is an annual event in Jefferson in spring and fall.

Although a dreary and overcast day Saturday, crowds extended throughout the fair park into the afternoon and Esse estimated attendance to have been about 15,000 people for the entire weekend’s events.

When it gets a good fall weekend, the car show can attract as many as 20,000 to 25,000 people to the fairgrounds on Jefferson’s west side.

“We were down a little,” Esse said, “but I have to say the show cars were really good. There were some amazing vehicles there.”

Esse also said some 1957 Oldsmobile convertibles were among the stars of the show.

Esse is already looking past this winter to the spring Jefferson swap meet and car show. He said the spring events are traditionally larger than the fall ones and featured as the event vehicle in early 2019 will again be the popular Mustang. The spring event is scheduled for April 26-28.

“Jefferson is still going strong as an event for us,” Esse said. “We just wish we could have had better weather this past weekend.”

Esse said, as is the case with most other collectibles, the internet has taken its toll on attendance at in-person events such as the Jefferson swap meets and car shows. He noted, however, that there are still many people who like to come out for a hands-on experience, in which they can converse with other like-minded people and learn on the spot.

“They still like to come out and get the good info,” Esse said, “and I credit myself with educating many people over the years.”

“This fall was a good show, but you’ve got to have the weather in your favor,” he said.

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